Educational leaders attend Downing Street reception
PUBLISHED: 09:45 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:45 14 June 2019
Two educational leaders from Bury St Edmunds were personally invited to meet Theresa May at Downing Street last month.
David Gartland, principal of the new Abbeygate Sixth Form College in the town, and Nikos Savvas, chief executive of West Suffolk College, visited No 10 for a private reception hosted by the prime minister on May 30.
The reception celebrated the 13th wave of free schools and the forthcoming opening of Abbeygate, which will welcome students from September.
Students will be based at West Suffolk College for the first year before transferring to the new site based on the upper playing field of King Edward VI School in Bury.
MORE: Take a virtual tour of the new sixth form college in Bury St Edmunds
Mr Gartland said: "It was an absolute honour to attend the reception. It was a fantastic occasion and a wonderful way to celebrate the opening of Abbeygate Sixth Form College this September and mark the start of the work on the new building.
"The event afforded us an incredible opportunity to be part of discussions about education in the very heart of government.
"We made some extremely useful connections with the offices and had positive dialogs with the education secretary Damien Hinds and parliamentary under secretary of state for the school system Theodore Agnew.
"My team and I am looking forward to welcoming all those interested in finding out more about Abbeygate to our inaugural Open Event on Wednesday, June 19.
MORE: Plans for new state-of-the-art Bury St Edmunds sixth form are approved
Dr Savvas said: "Congratulations to David and his team for the opening of Abbeygate Sixth Form College this September.
"The prime minister's invitation was a fitting tribute to David and his team for taking Abbeygate Sixth Form College from a vision to a reality with nearly 400 students due to study at the college from the new academic year.
"A thank you must also be extended to One Sixth Form College in Ipswich and our founding partner schools, for whom without them Abbeygate would not have been possible."